Haverhill Begins Process of Being Designated as a ‘Purple Heart City’

Staff Sgt. Beau M. Martindale is awarded the Purple Heart by Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine during a ceremony on Coleman Barracks. (Photograph courtesy of U.S. Army. Spc. Adrienne Killingsworth, 18th MP Bde. PAO.)

The Haverhill City Council has begun the process of designating Haverhill as a Purple Heart Community.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29 Commander Keith Gopsill proposed to councilors Tuesday the designation to honor local veterans injured while serving their country.

“One small way that we can not only help local veterans, but any veteran that visits our fair city, is to make the City of Haverhill a Purple Heart City. By doing so, we reserve the right to post road signs around the city declaring, ‘We are proud of those who have borne the scars of battle and are recipients of the esteemed Purple Heart award, who call Haverhill home.,’” he explained.

The designation begins with a proclamation and entails placing signs at various locations throughout the city declaring its status as a Purple Heart city.

Gospill told the Council that while the designation process is underway, his group would conduct fundraisers to cover the cost of the signage and other expenses, which he said would come to about $2,000.

Currently, there are more than 900 Purple Heart locations in the U.S., with just over 100 here in Massachusetts.

The Council voted unanimously to move ahead with the proposal, sending it to its Natural Resources and Public Property subcommittee to determine where best to place the signs. They also approved sending a letter to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, asking him to support and help accomplish the plan.

Aug. 7 is recognized as Purple Heart Day in the U.S. and Council president Melinda E. Barrett said she hoped to make the designation official by then.

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